Hard Discretion Wins Third in a Row After Native Diver Stakes

Native Diver Stakes (Grade 3)- $100.000 Purse
DMR- For Three Year Olds and Upward
One Mile and One Eighth on the Dirt
November 20, 2021

Hard Discretion came into the Native Diver Stakes on a two race winning streak, with a pair of victories in optional claimers. Both of those results, especially the most recent one, showed that he deserved a shot to run at the stake level. The Native Diver would be his first chance to do so, and he was up to the task, showing off his late running style to extend that streak to three. He is trained by TwinTowersRacing, who picked him up for $21.250 in private sales in late January and has done a great job bringing the horse forward. This was both his and jockey Ru Gonzalez’s first win in the Native Diver. Congratulations to them! The time of the victory was 1:47.57. Let’s take a look!

(½ Mile- :47.06)- Downward Roll, trained by Big Jd Racing, was the quickest out of the gate and would initially open up a lead of about two lengths on the field. However, as they moved down the frontstretch, Cold Case, out of Nakamura Stables, would not allow Downward Roll to lead all by himself, so he would push forward to join him at the front end. After half a mile, it would be Cold Case in front by half a length. Behind the top two, The Sidley Stud’s Ginger Sand ran in the third spot as both he, and Plan To Wheel, out of Fractious, would stalk the two frontrunners. It was another length and a half to Electric (Angelos Stable), and right behind him was our eventual winner out of TwinTowersRacing, Hard Discretion. He would have about six lengths to make up. Trailing were Psychotic Ruler (Night Rider Stables) and Rise Above (Mwn Racing).

(¾ Mile- 1:10.63)- The lead would change hands again over the backstretch as Downward Roll would be quicker than Cold Case to take over the spot. Entering the turn, he had a half length advantage and you had to wonder if Cold Case would begin to backpedal through the field. The two stalkers, Ginger Sand and Plan To Wheel continued to do so, and were positioned well enough to not have Cold Case back into them. Neither were making a further push to the front. Electric lost a little ground in the backstretch, falling into the clutches of Hard Discretion who was preparing to move around him to the outside. Hard Discretion was not otherwise making his push to the front as of yet. At the back, Psychotic Ruler was content to watch it all unfold in front of him while having Rise Above to his outside.

(Top Of Stretch, 1.7F To Go)- There were no worries up front for Downward Roll, who handled the turn very well, and looked as though he would be a tough one to get by in the stretch. He had opened up an approximate two length lead at this point. Behind him, things were getting more interesting as both Ginger Sand and Plan To Wheel drew even with Cold Case for the second spot, but neither made that pass easily and they were not challenging Downward Roll. Behind them, Hard Discretion had enough of this, and Ru Gonzalez decided that he would be the one to put up the challenge to the pace setter, but he needed to go four wide in order to do so. He would get an excellent response by his horse, drawing even with those three quite quickly with his sights set on the top spot. Electric was still in striking range but needed to get moving. Psychotic Ruler was looking for room to run, and Rise Above considered an outside move.

(Finish- 1:47.57)- In the stretch, Downward Roll tried his best to hang on, but Hard Discretion did a great job with his four wide move. With a furlong to go, Ru Gonzalez asked him for a little more run, and he would respond with that. Hard Discretion was excellent in his run to the wire, and would go on to win by a length. Taking the second spot would be Psychotic Ruler, who found room between horses to make his own charge. The move was well calculated to get by Downward Roll, but he had conceded too much ground to Hard Discretion and has to settle for second. Downward Roll takes third over another late runner, Rise Above. That one did all he could, running five wide on exit of the turn and hoping for the best. Rounding it out, it is Plan To Wheel, Electric, Ginger Sand, and Cold Case.

About The Winner- Hard Direction, trained by TwinTowersRacing and ridden to victory by Ru Gonzalez, is a three year old gelding by Hardline and is out of the late Discretion. He was bred in California by LionKing Stables as a first quarter two year old, and acquired by TwinTowersRacing via Maxmillion Farm in private sales for $20.250 in January 2021. Congratulations to the connections! The win is his fifth in twelve starts and first stake win. His career earnings are now $173.000.

##   Horse Name Owner Name Jockey Odds   Fin Time SRF 
  Hard Discretion TwinTowersRacing Gonzalez Ru 3.70   11 1:47.57 — 
  Psychotic Ruler Night Rider Stables Prat F 14.80   21/4 1:47.77 — 
  Downward Roll Big Jd Racing Gutierrez Mario 11.35   31/4 1:47.85 — 
  Rise Above Mwn Racing Ortiz J L 5.20   43/4 1:47.94 — 
  Plan To Wheel Fractious Van Dyke D 7.65   53/4 1:48.13 — 
  Electric Angelos Stable Cedillo A 1.90   61 1:48.28 — 
  Ginger Sand The Sidley Stud Hernandez J J 5.05   71/2 1:48.48 — 
  Cold Case Nakamura Stables Pereira T J 24.90   8 1:48.60 — 

Track: Fast

Time: :47   1:103  1:35   1:472

$2 Mutuel Prices:

2 – Hard Discretion 9.40 5.60 4.30
5 – Psychotic Ruler   13.80 9.40
3 – Downward Roll     7.50

$1 Exacta: 2 – 5 Paid 85.40

$1 Trifecta: 2 – 5 – 3 Paid 1,417.10

Scratched: Sweetly Chai

— NS

Categories: Grade III, STAKES ARTICLES

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